Complex Made Simple

Innovation, data centers, security, to be boardroom priorities

The Middle East’s shift to digital business has created a dilemma for the region’s CIOs. They need to innovate and implement change, while also retaining levels of control and management. Every Middle East industry is being impacted by this rush towards the Digital Economy and the increasingly connected Internet of Things era. Research has shown that 68 percent of Middle East business leaders say technology management is moving from IT departments to lines of business. The impact of cloud-based digital transformation has now touched on every business process – from governance and compliance to security and regulation.

ME CIO’s response to IT decentralization

Middle East CIOs are redefining their strategies as they look to manage multiple clouds to retain control and foster innovation. Increasingly, CIOs are serving as the bridge between technology and the business to drive real growth and opportunity. One of the Middle East’s most innovative CIOs is Danny Dagher of Bank Audi, one of the fastest-growing banks in the Middle East. Bank Audi has transformed its IT infrastructure with VMware’s Cross-Cloud Architecture, supporting a private cloud, virtualization and disaster recovery automation. Now, IT has become a revenue-generator, with Bank Audi enjoying CapEx savings of millions of US dollars.

“The CIO should consider how emerging technology trends are impacting different industries. They can then predict how technology is going to shape the industry their business is operating in, and how to remain one step ahead,” said Dagher.

Involving the board to drive digital business innovation

With combined IT spend in the UAE and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia set to top USD 13 billion in 2017, CIOs need to enable IT to move faster, remain flexible and secure, and optimise costs. There are three key technical initiatives to prioritize. First is the integration of public clouds for a common operating environment. Second is moving towards a software-defined model for IT automation, the Internet of Things, and modern and secure mobile apps. Finally, the transformation of security to drive resilience from the data center through to the device.

Digital transformation creates new business possibilities with innovative business models, exceptional mobile experiences and new customer experiences. CIOs need to be instrumental in making sure the boardroom acknowledges and embraces it.

Brian Gammage is Chief Market Technologist for End-User Computing at VMwares.